How Much Salt to Use For Fermenting Vegetables

Salt is an essential ingredient in all vegetable fermentation (lacto-fermentations).

It allows for a good fermentation, helps develop flavours, keeps the vegetables crunchy, and preserves health benefits.

Read on if you’re wondering how much salt to add to your fermented vegetables!

For a complete guide about salt, see Brine and Salt in Fermentation: the Ultimate Guide.

Dry Salting or Brine?

First of all, before you can calculate how much salt to add, you need to know if you are going to add the salt directly to the vegetables (dry salting), or mix it with water beforehand (brining).

When to Use Dry Salting (Without Water)

Dry salting is used when the vegetables:

  • are cut very thinly,
  • have a high water content,
  • are pureed, in a paste or sauce.

In other words, when the vegetables are sufficiently soaked to be covered with their own water. This technique is used for the following fermented vegetable recipes:

When to Use Brine (Water + Salt)

Brine is used when the vegetables:

  • are whole,
  • in large chunks,
  • don’t have a high water content.

In other words, when the vegetables are not sufficiently soaked to be covered with their own water, and we need to add more. Brine is especially used for the following fermented vegetable recipes:

How Much Salt to Use When Fermenting Vegetables?

The amount of salt used in lacto-fermentation is a matter of taste, the sugar content of the vegetables, and the desired storage time.

  • The less salt,
  • the faster the fermentation. The more salt, the crunchier and mould resistant the vegetables are.

It should be noted that salt in vegetable fermentation is usually calculated as a percentage.

Percentage of Salt According to Type of Vegetables

Percentage of Salt To Use in Vegetable Fermentation

At 2% or less salt concentration, it is necessary to add a vegetable starter culture and/or calcium chloride to prevent the fermentation from being contaminated by pathogenic agents.

How Much Salt Is Needed for Dry Salting?

To add salt directly to vegetables (finely cut, crushed, or high water content), we need to soak them. Remember that you want to get enough liquid to keep them covered!

Once the vegetables are cut, salt them and let them soak for 15 minutes. Then put them in a jar, packing them well, and add a weight to keep them covered.

For dry salting, the salt to be added is calculated based on the weight of the ingredients.

How Much Salt For Dry Salting Fermentation

How Much Salt Is Needed for Brine?

Brine is used to salt vegetables when they cannot produce enough water to be submerged. To make a brine, you put the ingredients in a jar, add the salt, and then pour the water into the jar.

For brine, the salt to be added is calculated based on the volume of the jar. In the metric system, volume is equivalent to weight. This ensures that the salt is measured based on the total weight of the ingredients + water.

Fermentation Brine Chart

How Many Grams of Salt per Kitchen Utensil?

You may be wondering how much a teaspoon or tablespoon of salt weighs. Here is the answer!

How Many Grams of Salt per Kitchen Utensil

Don’t Be Afraid to Try!

It is important to weigh the ingredients, but you don’t need a scale to weigh the salt. A simple spoon is enough to get the right amount of salt to add!

There are small differences in weight between fine and coarse salt, but these differences will not significantly affect the quality of the results. In the same sense, you can use different types of salt to make your fermentations.

We advise you to start with 2% salt (20 g per kg of vegetables), small recipes (250ml pots), and short fermentations (1 week). This will allow you to taste the results quickly and to adjust the next recipe if necessary.

Still not sure how to get started? Check out our 5 tips for successful fermentations and our 3 foolproof recipes to get you started.

Get Started!

SIMILAR ARTICLES